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tv   To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe  PBS  August 24, 2013 11:30am-12:01pm PDT

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>> funding for "to the contrary" provided by: the cornell douglas foundation committed to encouraging stewardship of the environment, land conservation, watershed protection and eliminating harmful chemicals. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation. the wallace genetic foundation the e. rhodes and leona b. carpenter foundation. and by the charles a. frueauff foundation. >> this week on "to the contrary" first, is there a double standard for male and female
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c.e.o.s. then, the growing achievement gap. behind the headlines: the march on washington: 50 years later. hello, i'm bonnie erbe. welcome to "to the contrary," a discussion of news and social trends from diverse perspectives. up first, a ceo's feisty photo creates controversy. did yahoo! c.e.o. marissa strike the wrong pose for "vogue" magazine. lying backwards on a lounge chair sporting stilettos and a pouty face, mayer was photographed for a profile piece in the fashion magazine. critics argue her picture perpetuates the stereotype that high profile women rise to the
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top based on looks. others say there's nothing wrong there's nothing wrong with a female c.e.o. embracing her femininity. but mayer received some good news late in the week; yahoo surpassed google in july as the most visited website in the united states. even better news, yahoo stock has doubled in the year since mayer became ceo. so debra, was her decision to strike the pose in "vogue" or ratings booster for the website? >> i really think she was fine in what she did. i don't think it really mataries whole lot and if it gave her some more notoriety and publicity it's great. "vogue" is always about fashion and fashion is about being sensual. >> kudos to her i'm glad she did what she did, she proved you can be beautiful and have brains and be successful. >> well, maissa knows exactly what she's doing.
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she leaves google in the dust, that "vogue" pose will particularly please her young, hip yahoo! base. >> of course she should have posed for "vogue" she's a beautiful, glamorous, successful, brilliant woman. the world should get used to that. there are a lot of them. second thing is, the mistake here is the busy bodies judging her. >> really? glim not so much of a busy body but i really do think that she is inappropriate for who she is. can you imagine, we know scott brown posed just about full frontal nude and still became a u.s. senator. but i can't think of a major seriously taken, let's take richard branson out of the picture because he's not really feign that seriously. seriously taken male c.e.o.
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posing in a suit upside down for a magazine, i can't see it. >> it's different for us, sometimes we can set the standard for break the mold i think it's great because she is beautiful and lovely. her stock is beating google. >> i think women are redefining success. it can include women being sexy and glamorous. >> this is also "vogue" this is about fashion. fashion is about sensuality and you sell looking good, looking sexy, whether you're a man or woman. that's what it is. i. >> i get your point about the upside down thing and man going upside down. >> except for richard branson. >> you know, why not. maybe they should try that next month. >> actually she's pretty uptight. she is up here, virtually you can't see anything and she is -- >> what i see quite frankly in that picture, by the way, not that i -- paid a whole lot of
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attention although it got a lot of play in the news we decided to go with it. what i see is a pr, battle between her pr people and the photographers at "vogue" they want her to -- they want her to expose more of her decollete and want her to be sexy and do something that will make news and bring attention to the magazine. her pr people want her to be somewhat dignified so they came up -- >> in my mind fairly bizarre pose does a little of both. >> bizarre is not the right word. it has to do with, first of all, this woman is comfortable in her own skin. she needs to draw attention to yahoo! and the changes that she is bringing to yahoo!, what you said earlier needs paying attention to. who is she and what is she
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doing. she is yahoo!, who is yahoo! yahoo! is younger than anybody at this table. would they be turned off by this picture? i doubt it. for certain c.e.o.s including women c.e.o.s this would not be a slogan. particularly the they didn't feel comfortable. for her it seems to me it was just right and if she was doing what you said which is trying to cut the baby in half she success sealedded. >> even "time" magazine they said she looked like a mermaid on this piece of gum. she brought attention to herself but you have some bizarre reportings on the actual picture. kudos to her. she's successful and beautiful. >> let me then push it a little -- push the envelope a little bit more say, she brought attention, stock is up, why not just do what madonna did do whole book of naked photographs? you really want to push the envelope -- but not that far. >> what's the difference?
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>> there's a big difference. madonna and maridsa would you like -- >> first of all she's techno-geek this does a lot to improve the image, especially for young women. i think she's a great role model. and as you say she's -- younger generation. and they are changing -- >> we could pick the whole picture apart over -- >> the gum analogy i found that fascinating. also if you showed that pick tower fbi agent, i can tell you that it's bondage. because you've got dash. >> stiletto and the shoes and the straps. that's a whole bondage. >> i love her shoes. >> sends multiple messages. take it the way you like it. >> take away from here is that this is fine, young women, she's a fine role model, go for it. >> yes. >> absolutely. you should know who your bases who your publics she knows who hers is.
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let us know what you think. please follow me on twitter @bonnieerbe. from women ceos to boys getting c's girls are surging ahead of boys in high school achievement according to the national bureau of economic research. three decades of data show high school girls are getting more a's and boys more c's. the most important reason for the growing gap is girls' higher career expectations. but other scholars have a different explanation. they believe boys are falling behind academically because school is a hostile environment they point to policies such as zero tolerance for violence that have led to children, mainly boys, suspended for pretending to use weapons. one example, a 7-year old boy who was suspended for nibbling the edges of his pop-tart into the shape of a gun. schools are also restricting games deemed violent or exclusionary, such as dodgeball, tag, and tug of war - which has
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been renamed "tug of peace." some concerned parents and educators fear this approach is backfiring and hurting boys. boys are nearly five times more likely to be expelled from preschool, and are 70% of students suspended in k-12. christina you released an updated version of "the war on boys" which we're told how many years ago, ten years ago. what about these zero tolerance policies. >> they have had disparity impact on boys. to correct policies that are harmful to girls but boys don't have that kind of protection. and so no one is really looking at material their interests. our schools are becoming increasingly hostile. of a man american boys pay the highest price but now it's moved to boys of -- from all backgrounds are simply find
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themselves in school, almost as if they should put up a no welcome sign. >> how come they're showing up at schools, the adam kid in connecticut with ak-47s and trying to blow the places apart? >> a small group of boys are sociopathic. most are not sociopaths. we have to make a clear distinction. a healthy masculinity, by being high spirited and yes, he can play all sorts of typical heroic ways, rescuing people from bad guys and vanquishing villains. that's the healthy play of little boys. it's a terrible mistake to confuse that. >> i agree with zero tolerance one of the worst of all experiments in the past 20 years. but i must tell you i am not convinced by this anecdotal evidence, i would like to look a lot deeper than what one or two
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really crazy things that nobody would condone to something much -- first of all this goes back much further. i really -- >> what part goes back? zero tolerance? >> boys falling off. boys doing worse. now doing much worse. i think really got to -- you have to look at the rise of sports on television and in schools. as kind of -- for more and more boys you really are not a boy unless you spend the time playing these video games unless, by the way, not playing sports. that would be very healthy. looking at sports, fathers spending all weekend looking at sports. what kind of sports do they look at? some of them worse are the violent sports. and the time they spend on it is what i am talking about. i want to see a study done of
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how much time the boys spend as voyeurs of sports, taking in all that have violence and how much time the girls spend. the girls they understand somehow because they have participating in sports. what it does for them and leadership qualities and in moving ahead in life. for the boys who are, yes, victims of obesity more than girls, sports has become identified with masculinity and their time is taken up with that -- >> not only masculinity but success. a lot of young boys they see these guys, wrestlers, baseball players, football players they don't want to study. they want to be able to be just like that make millions like that get the girls and be popular. but to go to zero tolerance i think that we've taken that too far. yes, we should be vigilant. what happened with columbine,
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sandy hook and other places but also we can take things too far. with a kid biting the pop-tart shaped as a gun and suspend him instead of tug of war, tug of peace, what is that? >> i really think we need to look at our education system and look deeply in to it and say zero tolerance good, the answer is probably no. it's like taking the discretion away from the judge doing a sentencing you want to look at the individual. you want to look at the individual circumstances. i get very concerned when he hear, we're spending time on this and being concerned about these types of things, tug of peace. we should be spending our time on more constructive, introspective looking at our educational system and how these policies are affecting us. >> but also what i want to get to in what little time we have left blaming this on feminism. is it the fault of feminism? >> the first edition of my book i was tangling with the american
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association of university women because they had promoted the idea that girls were in crisis. when in fact boys were falling further and further behind that was sort of ignored. in this edition i focus on all sorts of causes. the decline of recess and zero tolerance and increasingly classrooms have become more feeling centered, sedentary, competition averse. unwittingly have moved away from the needs of little boys. >> i agree. talking to the congresswoman about sports being distracting. schools do compete with the popular culture they have to do a better job engaging the young male minds. >> president obama had it right, put more emphasis on science and math i think that we need to look at our curriculum. there are many things here that -- >> we may need more male teachers. >> we may need more experiments with single sex education. there's fantastic public school, all male and all female --
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>> eagle academy in new york a charter school. >> the male leadership academy in dallas which is fantastic. there are lot of things we could be doing. the british, australians they're ten years ahead of us. >> what do they do differently? >> they consider it a crisis. they are worried about the boys but worried about the future of their workforce, their economy. and some expert on education said in the global economy the country that can solve the problem to the boy gap is going to be ahead in economically. they are sort of strengthening their educational system with students doing vocational and career development. they are sending out reading lists to teachers of books that little boys find irresistible. this is being done at the highest level of government in australia and england. image anyonable that our department of education would have something special for boys.
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behind the headlines: women and the civil rights movement. this week marks the 50th anniversary of the march on washington, a critical moment in that movement and a moment which has become emblematic of the epic struggle for equality in america. >> i have a dream that one day -- >> it's been a half century since doctor martin luther king, jr. delivered his famous "i have a dream" speech. >> we hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal. >> 250,000 people witnessed that speech. denice tyree turner was in the crowd on the national mall. she was a teenager but remembers that day with intense clarity. she says while women in the civil rights movement were not as visible, they were important. >> we were workers to get people out, and we held bake sales and things in order to get money to
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donate to the riders. i don't see us as leaders in the civil rights movements even though i since found out we did have some. >> some of those civil rights leaders include rosa parks, shirley chisholm, dorothy height and fannie lou hamer. but these leaders were not in the forefront, so young women such as tyree turner did not see their impact. no woman addressed the march on washington. but women were present and drove the movement forward. >> we were fluff, really, at least they thought we were fluff, but we were coming into our own. we were demanding to be treated as people with intelligence. >> turner was involved in the civil rights movement from an early age. she was part of a sit-in at a segregated diner in raleigh, north carolina. when her church urged parishioners to join the march,
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she did. but when she arrived at the mall and first saw the mass of people gathered, she felt nervous. >> i was frightened, i walked around the outskirts of it for a while to get my bearings, and actually to judge, to see how people were, because there were so many whites, that i didn't know if they were going to be troublemakers or were they actually here for the - to participate in the, to support the march. i eventually went into the throng of people, they were so friendly, and i felt very comfortable and then i felt like i knew them so i hooked up with some group and we marched and we sang, and we sang and we marched. ♪ i hooked up with some group and we marched and we sang and we sang and we marched. >> the march on washington is credited with helping pass the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act of 1965. >> i had no idea that it was
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going to be such an important day, an important accomplishment. it was going to have such a major importance to the black race, and national, not just national importance, but international. i had no idea and it took me, probably in my twenties before i realized that it was so important. >> turner has since devoted her life to working for civil rights. in various government jobs, she fought to help women and people of color get fair treatment. >> that's something i told my children about, they're all aware of that, and i hope they tell their grandchildren of that. i'm very proud of that, i am proud that i participated in raleigh, north carolina in the sit-in. and the march on washington. i'm going to participate on the 50th anniversary, too.
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>> you were on the organizing committee for the march tell us about that. since i know one of the biggest women's advocates ever on this planet, why weren't there any women siegers? >> i can tell you there were a lot of women on the staff of march on washington which i served as a law student. where i'd been in the mississippi delta it had finally gelled. it was going to happen, came to the brilliant organizer of the march. now, i found plenty of women on this amateur staff because byron was only one who really knew what he was doing. what they are really talking about is the stake of the civil rights movement circa 1963. it was frankly more advanced than america in general.
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but not significantly more. there was some consciousness among the younger women that women had not gotten the opportunities and the movement they were entitled to, that is -- we saw that absolutely. >> that was stokely carmichael's organization. >> john lewis'. >> it was carmichael -- one of the -- >> the women in the movement is -- >> that's after john and that's after the black power movement came in. one thing we also avoid is the kind of vision of history that frankly i'd like to do which is to say we stormed said why don't you make sure there's some women speakers. i think the reason that we were you ad by the march and the feminism in us did not come out yet is because we were just a few years ahead of feminist consciousness of any kind,
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anywhere. do remember that. and the second reason is that if you look at the early '60s there was one issue and only one issue that was the national issue just like war is, it was race and racism. how did every issue, the notion of going from zero, never a march on civil rights or anything else. 250,000 people as far as the eye could see on the mall was so awesome that there was very little criticism of the march itself. only congratulations and elation that it came off so well, but that would last only a few years. >> look talking about the women as part of the movement you had mothers who were part of the movement. emmitt when i was lynched in mississippi, his mother put forth, let's open up the
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cassette. that helped catapult the civil rights movement. and -- >> greta scott king. >> coretta scott king. savannah howard who is my grandmother who nobody knows her she went door to door begging for clothes to wash so he could go to school. later on my father helped integrate the schools in mississippi he became -- he stopped chain gangs in mississippi. women were not in the forefront, we're there. >> let's not forget how the civil rights movement inspired other movements and taught the nation how to organize and how to foment change. especially feminism. many of the women that would later inaugurate the women's movement. >> that's true. the femme cyst movement was around before the '60s also.
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because you had -- >> feminine mystique didn't come out until '65. that is -- yes, there was the 1848 convention over in europe that american feminists went to. >> in the 1920s. >> after the suffrage movement, the movement was the -- >> even woodrow wilson fought against it, women to vote. we've already given the negro the right to vote at the time but going to take awhile before women. >> to the point, yes. it's easy to look go, where were the women. but take in the context of which it was. it was still incredible, peaceful event i think that shocked the nation certainly and opened the eyes of a -- >> i think it showed you something else. even today. there is no civil rights
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movement that has ever had a woman as its leader. not the urban league, not the naacp. what does that tell us, that although more than a third women, whole lot more than we can say for the congress in general, it does show us that none of us are so far advanced that we don't need to work hard to make sure women are treated equally. >> all right. that's it for this edition of "to the contrary." please follow me on twitter at @bonnieerbe and @tothecontrary and visit our website, where the discussion continues. whether you agree or think, to the contrary, please join us next time.
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>> funding for "to the contrary" provided by: the cornell douglas foundation committed to encouraging stewardship of the environment, land conservation, watershed protection and eliminating harmful chemicals. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation. the wallace genetic foundation the e. rhodes and leona b. carpenter foundation. and by the charles a. frueauff foundation. for a transcript or to see an online version of this episode of "to the contrary" please visit our pbs website at
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